Nebula Search is a browser extension for Mac OS and PC. It showcases an attractive homepage wallpaper and asserts that it specializes in improving online searches and to accomplish this, it replaces default homepage and search tool with Find.nebulasearch.net. The bad thing is, Nebula Search is often installed on the computer even without necessary permission from the computer user. Therefore, while it is currently promoted as valuable internet software add-on, computer security enthusiast dubbed it as potentially unwanted program (PUP).
Nebula Search as PUP
The sneaky ways of Nebula Search authors in utilizing several types of deceitful method in propagating the program is the main reason why it was listed under the category of PUP. It only means that most computer users who have it on their browser have no personal intention for the acquisition. This can be true because it is a fact that Nebula Search commonly enters the computer uninvited through another file installer or technically called software bundle. Most of the time Nebula Search or previous variants as Burst Search and Flare Search are tied together with freeware like games, productivity apps, internet speed boosters, media converter, and so on. Unfortunately, computer users will never get to know the full contents because installation process of the freeware does not disclose the inclusions. As a result, Nebula Search will be an added element to default browser program after the full installation of the freeware.
To counter this tactics, it is best to run the setup process via Advanced or Custom mode. This way, you will be able to see all the contents, opt-out in the installation of additive applications, and load only the desired one or the main program.
Nebula Search as Adware
Once Nebula Search is installed on the browser application, it commits several changes on the settings that will give way for the objective of attackers and that is to exploit internet apps to generate profit. Several kinds of advertisements will show up on the browser that in most instances, are too annoying. It supersedes the current page and certainly blocks web user’s view.
Part of the revenue generation of Nebula Search is to collect several user’s browsing data that attackers can use to elevate their profit by displaying personalized ads. Injected code on the browser is able to gather details like search keywords, favorite websites, visited pages, IP address, and other relevant browsing information. As such, Nebula Search causes risks to internet user’s online confidentiality that often leads to privacy theft. Therefore, immediate removal of this unwanted browser extension is important. Full guide to get rid of Nebula Search is part of this publication. Browse to the next section for procedures and tools that are helpful in eliminating the threat.
Nebula Search Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting Find.nebulasearch.net hijacker and pop-ups.
In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.
Step 1 : Delete Nebula Search Browser Extension
Most adware and unwanted programs are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to Nebula Search.
Remove Nebula Search Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Nebula Search or relevant entry like Find.nebulasearch.net and remove it from Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall Nebula Search Extension from Mozilla Firefox
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.
4. Look for object that is pertaining to Nebula Search and remove it from the browser.
After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that Find.nebulasearch.net is also gone from the homepage.
Remove Nebula Search Add-ons from Internet Explorer and Edge Browser
1. Open Internet Explorer program.
2. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.
3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Nebula Search from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete Find.nebulasearch.net from Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Nebula Search is still present on the IE browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups originating from Find.nebulasearch.net, another option is to remove the adware from Windows Control Panel.
5. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.
6. Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in chronological manner with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on 'Installed On' column.
7. Select Nebula Search or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool
To remove Nebula Search automatically, checking the computer with this powerful malware scanner recommended. This security application does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker that assigns Find.nebulasearch.net as the homepage URL.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.
3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.
4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.
5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Nebula Search.
6. Click the button to carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Nebula Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Nebula Search browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat and Find.nebulasearch.net still exists on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.
Step 3 : Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner
In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Nebula Search on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications as well as invalid browser entries that produces Find.nebulasearch.net pop-ups.
1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.
2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Nebula Search.
3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.
4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Nebula Search. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings that is associated with Find.nebulasearch.net.
5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.
6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.
Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by Find.nebulasearch.net. If the browser hijacker still persists, please continue with the steps below to reset internet programs to default settings.
Optional : Reset Internet Browser Program
Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with Nebula Search. The procedure below discuss on resetting various browsers to its default state.
Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
Resetting Google Chrome to default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extension such as from Nebula Search. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty in removing unwanted extension.
1. Open Google Chrome Internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press Enter key.
3. Under Reset and clean up section, choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. Click Reset settings button to clear all entries of Nebula Search.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed Nebula Search extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to Nebula Search. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only specific extension, please see manual removal of add-on from Firefox.
1. Input the string about:support on Firefox web address and press Enter on keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating Give Firefox a tune up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
5. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. Nebula Search should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.
Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to top menu. Click Tools, and then Internet Options.
2. Select Advanced tab on Internet Options window.
3. On lower part of the window, under Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button. Please see image for reference. Your data like favorites, bookmark, and history will remain in the browser. However, this process may delete add-ons by Nebula Search and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please add-on removal from Internet Explorer.
Clear the Safari Internet Browser (Mac)
1. Open your Safari browser application.
2. In the Safari menu, click on Preferences from the drop-down list.
3. On Preferences window, please select the Privacy tab.
4. Click on Manage Website Data button.
5. Select unwanted entry like Nebula Search and click the Remove button. If you choose to Remove All, you may be logout from most visited websites and online services. Therefore, we advise to remove suspicious item one at a time to prevent changing behavior towards your favorite websites.
6. If it prompts, please confirm your actions.
7. Next, we will need to clear the Cache. Back at the Safari Preferences window, choose Advanced tab.
8. Navigate to the bottom and activate Show Develop menu in menu bar.
9. Go to Safari menu, choose on Develop from the drop down list and click on on Empty Caches.
10. Next thing to do is to restore the Homepage to your preference and remove the one from Nebula Search.
11. Back at the Safari Preferences window, click on General tab.
12. Under Homepage section, type your desired URL to be the default start-up page.
13. Lastly, make sure to have the right Search Engine.
14. Go back to Safari Preferences window and click on Search tab.
15. Select your desired Search tool under the Search engine section.
16. You may not restart Safari browser.
How to remove Find.nebulasearch.net Pop-ups (Notification)
Most of the time, browser hijackers are combined with intrusive pop-up ads originating from the source website Find.nebulasearch.net. It is taking advantage of push notification feature of popular internet programs like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Edge. These pop-up ads from Find.nebulasearch.net are extra ordinary as it exceeds the normal display volume and they are certainly annoying.
Normally, Find.nebulasearch.net pop-ups will start to bombard internet browser screen with pop-ups if web user was deceived to click “Allow” button that triggers the said website to send push notification. To stop Find.nebulasearch.net from showing the pop-ups, please execute the procedures below. Remember, these steps may only be successful after the removal of the main component or dubious browser extension.
1. On Google Chrome browser, input the following in the address bar and press Enter:
2. Navigate to the list under "Allow" section and look for Find.nebulasearch.net.
3. Click the ellipses (3 dots) beside Find.nebulasearch.net list to reveal the options.
4. Click on Block or Remove to stop Find.nebulasearch.net from displaying pop-up ads on Google Chrome browser.
6. Please restart Google Chrome browser.
1. On Mozilla Firefox browser, type the following in the address bar and press Enter key:
2. Navigate below to Permission area and look for Notifications.
3. Click the Settings button aligned with the Notifications.
4. Look for Find.nebulasearch.net entry and change the Status to Block.
5. Click on Save Changes and restart Mozilla Firefox and check if Find.nebulasearch.net pop-up is gone.
1. On top menu, click on Safari and then, select Preferences from the drop-down list.
2. Click on Websites tab to open its settings.
3. Select Notifications from the left sidebar.
4. On right panel, it will display a list of websites with "Allow" attribute.
5. Find and click on Find.nebulasearch.net.
6. You may choose to Deny or Remove it from the notification list.
7. You may now restart Safari browser and see if Find.nebulasearch.net pop-up is gone.
1. Assuming that Edge browser is open, click on the ellipses (3 dots) on upper right corner to open the Settings. Alternatively, you can press Alt + X on the keyboard.
2. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
3. Click on Advanced.
4. Under Website Permissions area, click on Manage Permissions button.
4. Find and select Find.nebulasearch.net from the list. Click on X button to stop it from showing pop-up ads or notifications.
5. You may now restart Edge browser.